One day, when I was around 9 or so, I found a strange thing on the beach. A soft dark-grayish lump with a dull shine. At first, I thought it was some kind of modeling clay, but never before had I seen modeling clay seen of that color. Still, it was malleable, so I played with that. For the remaining of the day, I kept playing with this strange grey clay. Other kids who were there were also interested. As children are want to do, they wanted see it with their own hands. To touch it, feel it, play with it. Some did — the closest ones. The ones I knew could be trusted with such a treasure. Most, just had to be content with looking from afar. Looking back, this little malleable lump was one of my first beach treasures and one of the main reasons for finding it so natural that treasures should be either buried or uncovered in beaches.That same day, upon arriving home, I found out that my little treasure was nothing more than a piece of lead. While the word lead didn’t really say anything to me about what I had, my grandparents were concerned, since lead ‘was poisonous and not really suitable for playing, as it might damage your health’.
Ahhh… the virtues of being a grownup. How easily they spoil a child’s sense of wonder. All it takes is some label that sounds a lot like danger and that’s it. “Finished. Capito?“. And so it was that my little bit of lead unceremoniously confiscated and thrown either to the trash or to some remote dark corner of the house, never to be seen again.
Fast Foward to 2017. I’m visiting a dear dear friend of mine up in that place where, according to Shakespeare, something rotten is happening. As usually happens between kindred spirits, talk revolved around cards with a side dish of astrology.
In one of those conversations, Saturn was addressed. Or my Saturn was addressed, to be more precise. Looking at my natal chart, my Saturn is in Leo, at House 11, just 2º away from the Sun. This means that my Saturn is so close to the Sun, that it is actually burned. Combust. And yet… my Sun is located in the 11th House, attributed to Aquarius, which is ruled by Saturn. So, in a weird way, it’s like the Sun is renting the House from Saturn, so that He can burn it. Talk evolved on how to bring Saturn back into my life. A small drumming session was held and I was left to my own devices. A few days later, I had devised a little ritual in honor of Saturn to do just that. A ritual that I’ve been reenacting regularly for a few months now, to mixed results.
You see, even though things have been happening, everything feels slow and imperceptible. Me, being the fiery Leo that I am, soon started entertaining the idea that maybe things just weren’t happening at all and that a boost was needed. Last saturday, during the ritual, Saturn actually addressed this and said ‘Look! You want to groom a new planet into your life, so what do you expect? Do you think things grow just like that? They don’t! Growing takes time, patience and persistence. And I should know… I’m the god of agriculture!’ His last gift was the story I started this post with. A story long buried in the back of my mind.
‘Fair enough’, I thought. And started to entertain the delightful idea of growing a planet into my life. At the same time I decided to go for a walk in time and see how things were evolving.
While a 3-card spread might very well answer my question — and just looking at the three cards I drew, the 5 of Cups, Lust and King of Coins, I could easily devise my answer — I wanted some detail of how the actual process would evolve. Even though this spread has eleven cards, it is very simple to read. The three rows correspond to the Past (upper tier), the Present (middle tier) and the Future (bottom tier). The two columns on the left are about me, the querent; the ones on the right, about the object of my question. The columns in the middle indicate how the actual relationship goes, while the outer columns are about motivation and mental states. In the middle of the spread, sits the outcome (which in this case is the 6 of Wands).
‘Oh goodie!’, my immediate thought was. The six of Wands sits at the middle. This will end good, with the sticks burning at a steady pace. This will end up being an empowering relationship after all, if only I will give it time.
Things don’t seem to go well right now, with the 5 of Cups. The cups are empty and have been for some time now. The flower is slowly withering from lack of water, its leafs turning as dark as the dried ground where they took root. However, this is just a phase, a temporary thing, as the progression Lust – 5 of Cups – Knight of Wands clearly show. Fire will come back and with it, motivation and movement. Looking at Saturn’s outer column, it’s easy to see why. too much stuff was happening at the same time, each canceling each other out. Swords entwine in each other and get blocked, no longer being useful for cutting things down. So this is the work that it’s being down right now: the sorting of things. A pope was called to put everything in its place and to allow the growth of the human figure that stands at its feet, the same that was riding the Lion in the Lust Card. In time, and just like he said, things will grow and a powerful tree will stand beneath the sun, providing the fruits of all the work put into it. Trees grow slowly, and the pope works slowly, so there is nothing to worry about. Things will come, in its proper time.
The relationship itself will also change. In the beginning, it was just me, lost in a field somewhere trying to figure my way out. He was aware that there was just too much out there to actually be a big influence, but at the same time, slipping by the cracks to perform some work once in a while. In a way, both the Sun and Saturn are the two most important planets in my chart, with me easily making the transition between the more solar, joyful and energetic mode and the more pragmatic, rational and down-to earth side. There is balance in the Two of Swords, even if only momentarily. The fight for dominion between the Sun and Saturn is everlasting and the tide can turn at any moment.
The future however, looks entirely different. As the Saturn working continues I will be able to actually tap into the Saturnian current and go places. This is only possible, because Saturn will be pleased with the work, no longer needing to fight to get something done, as was the case before all of this started, but now being able to channel his influence down towards me. Magic works, after all, and so does alchemy. To get to the gold, I must first start with lead, and as he opportunely reminded me, I lost mine a long long time ago.
By changing my relationship with Saturn, I will be effectively changing myself. The little bit of lead I lost a long needs to be found and nurtured. So that it can grow and grow and grow to eventually become a planet. For as alchemy tells us, to get gold, one must inevitably start with lead.